Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Remains, Martyrs, and the Unclean

Israeli forces are battling Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, attempting to recover body parts of soldiers killed yesterday. From the New York Times
A caller to a Gaza City radio talk show today said: "Look, our martyrs smell so beautiful, but their body parts — they stink. It's because they are criminals." The caller was identified as "Mahmoud, father of a martyr."
Don't dismiss this caller as a nutbag similar to the kind of people who call radio shows in the U.S. He is expressing a theological view of the uncleanliness non-Muslim bodies supported by Ayatollah Khomeini.
The whole body of a non-Muslim is unclean, even his hair, his nails, and all the secretions of his body. The body, saliva, nasal secretions, and prespiration of a non-Muslim man or woman who converts to Islam automatically become pure. As for their garments, if they were in contact with the sweat of the body before conversion, they will remain unclean.

This is remarkable for its rigorous irrationality. Note the attention to detail regarding pre-convertion clothing. Once you accept the premise then the rest follows. We are not fighting crazy people. They have an elaborate world-view, one in which you dear reader, and your sweaty clothes, are filthy.

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